Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fraile shows TT pedigree in Portugal

It wasn't spectacular, but Omar Fraile's 14th place finish in the Volta a Portugal's ninth and penultimate stage, a 32,4km ITT, gives hope of better times ahead for future Euskaltel riders in the race against the clock.

The crono has of course always been Euskaltel's achilles heel, but the next batch of youngsters likely to "graduate" to the WorldTour outfit have consistently shown they're no pushovers in the discipline. The likes of the aforementioned Fraile, who is still, contractually at least, set to join the orange team next season, former Seguros Bilbao rider Illart Zuazubiskar and Fundación Euskadi product Igor Merino have always been at ease in the time trials, and once again showed their credentials with solid results against older and more seasoned riders in a quality field on Saturday afternoon.

Fraile clocked the 14th best time, climbing to 16th overall, Zuazubiskar was 32nd and Merino 48th. Top honours was again taken by that guy Alejandro Marque (the guy who, seemingly out of nowhere, pipped Pablo Urtasun to a stage win at the Vuelta a Asturias this spring), ahead of South African hotshot Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg and Onda's José Goncalvez. Overnight leader David Blanco placed fourth and added to his overall lead.

The race concludes tomorrow with a 149,5km ride from Sintra to the capital of Lisboa.

Stage nine results (full results here):
  • (1, Alejandro Marque (Carmim Prio), 38:15)
  • 14, Omar Fraile, 1:06
  • 32, Illart Zuazubiskar, 1:56
  • 48, Igor Merino, 2:26
  • 62, Mikel Bizkarra, 2:54
  • 76, Aritz Bagües, 3:23
  • 87, Xabier Zabalo, 3:51
  • 88, Aritz Etxebarria, s.t.
  • 107, Carlos Barbero, 4:51
  • 108, Jon Aberasturi, 4:53


Kristof said...

How good do you think he really is? Better then Garcia/Saez/Cabedo?

Magnus said...

For sure better than the first two. Cabedo is naturally a totally different rider, more of a rouleur type, but he'll succeed next year.

Fraile is a pretty complete rider, and could be a GC rider for Euskaltel in a few year's time. Has shown just as much promise, even more really, than the likes of Nieve in the amateur ranks, so I reckon he'll be one of the mainstays of the team for years.


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